How expensive is it to be on a raw food diet?

Q I know fruit can be expensive, and even greens in the produce section are not cheap. If I'm eating all raw foods how expensive will that get?

A Well, that depends whether you have been on a vegan diet based primarily on starch based foods like, rice, oatmeal, and potatoes, or are coming from the Standard American Diet (SAD) eating lots of meat, dairy, and processed junk food.

The raw diet will be more expensive than the vegan diet I described, but with improved health you can plan on cutting way down on health care expenditures and lost days at work due to illness. If you have been on the SAD diet then you will probably save money upfront.

There are ways to cut the cost of fresh produce dramatically if you are smart about it.

1) Try not to do your main shopping at over priced stores like Whole Foods. Check out the markets around you area that you haven’t shopped at before. More and more groceries are carrying organic produce and some at very reasonable prices. If you don’t see what you want tell your grocer. If enough people ask for it they’ll be glad to stock it and sell it to you.

2) Shopping at the local Farmer’s Market will save you money over most super markets, and buying in bulk will save you considerably more. If you can’t use a whole case of oranges then split it with a friend or member of your local raw food meet-up group. As you get to know the farmers they’ll give you better deals and treat you as a prime customer.

3) Start growing some of your own food. Even a small garden in buckets on the deck of your apartment will help cut costs.

4) Start sprouting. Sprouting seeds are very inexpensive and sprouting is very easy. Sprouts provide great nutrition for penny’s a meal.

5) There are always people with fruit trees that don’t want the fruit, at least not all of it, and are happy to have it picked by someone like you rather than have it fall on the ground and make a mess. If you see a neglected fruit tree knock on their door and ask if you can pick....and offer to pick some for them when you do. Every year I clean up in my area with people who don’t like persimmons. I eat free persimmons for months in late fall and winter.

6) Forage. Your back yard and any open space in your neighborhood are bound to be full of FREE edible plants. Purchase a book so you know what to look for and go for it.

7) Plant some fruit trees in your yard for the long haul. Plant what does well in your climate and you could be enjoying fruit with a couple of years.

Don’t let money come between you and your good health. Your newfound health, mental clarity, and bountiful energy will help you find resources for whatever you need…even more money.

If you’re interested in picking your own fresh wild greens having a book to take outdoors with you might be helpful. The book Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods From Dirt To Plateby John Kallas has nice pictures and has been helpful for me in identifying the edible wild greens in my yard and the surrounding hills.

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